Conserving historic structures and renovating old buildings

© Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung/Herrmann/Scherf/Pfeuffer.

Linderhof palace in Graswangtal near Garmisch, Germany.

The long-term conservation of historic buildings is entirely dependent on their being used and their ability to meet today’s standards of comfort and energy efficiency. Refurbishments designed to make buildings more energy efficient must take historic conservation concerns into account. In cooperation with working groups dealing with preservation of heritage buildings and rehabilitation of existing structures specific solutions adapted to individual old buildings are explored.

Wherever possible, the restoration of old buildings should be accompanied by energy-efficiency improvements to the building envelope. When external insulation is not viable, fitting internal insulation is usually the only alternative. However, this poses special structural challenges with respect to moisture balance. Cramped space where insulation components are joined and elevated humidity levels in rooms demand particular care when planning and implementing insulation measures. Using hygrothermal simulations and lab-based and on-site research, internal insulation solutions are analyzed and optimized based on actual building occupancy and operation.

Projects & Know-How



Cultural journey through   time   and   space

Climate change is endangering centuries-old murals and frescos, paintings, furniture and textiles. Can this deterioration be halted? Researchers are searching for solutions in the “Climate for Culture” EU project.



Half-timbered buildings

Renovating these traditional homes with a view to improving their energy performance is a challenge that calls for experts with specialized know-how.



Housing of a wrought-iron gate

Scientists have been conducting building physics tests to establish whether completely encasing a listed, wrought-iron Art Nouveau gate would eliminate conditions that accelerate corrosion.



Interior insulation in historic buildings

Together, Fraunhofer IBP and its Working Group on Preservation of Historic Monuments and Preventive Conservation run the Fraunhofer Center for the Energy-Saving Renovation of Old Buildings and the Preservation of Monuments, which is located in Benediktbeuern Abbey.



A modular, low-energy storage facility

Collections are frequently left to municipal archives or to museums; as a result, cultural artifacts that ought to be stored in accordance with conservation requirements frequently end up being kept in poor storage conditions instead.

Contact us

Martin Krus

Contact Press / Media

Prof. Dr. Martin Krus

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
Fraunhoferstr. 10
83626 Valley, Germany

Phone +49 8024 643-258

Fax +49 8024 643-366